I don't mind simplification for laypeople, but how watered down does science have to become before it's wrong. Is this targeted at 8-year olds?
My wife was a huge Cosmos fan in the Sagan days, so we watched the first few episodes and she had the same reaction. The animation as well as the oversimplification bothered both of us.
The discussion in this thread has been fascinating. I'm not sure I agree that the series needs more science and less history, but that just goes to show how dissatisfied I am with the quality of science essay writing in general. The popular notion that factoids constitute education is a big problem for me nowadays. The victory of the Sagan-Dawkins-Krauss conception of science (as the 'candle in the dark' that teaches us about reality) over the Gould-Eiseley-Lewontin conception (in which the cultural background of scientific research is as important as the discoveries themselves) is never more clear than when we're being told that science is "revealing the mysteries of the universe," rather than that science is a human endeavor that's just as fraught with bias as any other.
The US Conservative position about what causes climate change and that we should wait before acting is really pretty stupid.
In terms of making their corporate overlords happy by pandering to voter resentment, and at the same time denying the existence of a pretty overwhelming scientific consensus about climate change, I'd say the right wing has been anything but stupid.
I'm with you on the magnitude of this problem. The ironic thing is that we should be taking drastic steps immediately whether or not we affirm the validity of the climate change model itself; resource management and infrastructure investments are essential for many reasons apart from the threat of global warming.
And the problem isn't that the facts aren't out there, it's that they don't fit into the neoliberal narrative of deregulation, enabling private capital, and plundering the environment for short-term return on investment. Since pop-science educational programs like Cosmos and Nova are sponsored by folks like the Koch Brothers, FOX, Samsung, and Chrysler, don't expect to see them make more than a token mention of the problem either.